028 - Strategy for Straddle Pots

Whether it's the standard under-the-gun straddle, or the more exotic button straddle, every poker player should understand the strategic thinking (or lack thereof) behind the straddle.

James "SplitSuit" Sweeney hosts this week's podcast entirely on the subject of straddle pot strategy.

Let us know how you approach straddle pots in this thread.
Red Chip Poker

Comments

  • jbruelsjbruels Red Chipper Posts: 134 ✭✭
    Thanks for another great podcast, James.
    I’d like to add that I thoroughly enjoy button straddlers in Vegas. I find they are the “gamble-gamble” types you describe but don’t get at all how this play affects the game. I also find that they assume two or three people will limp in front of them and will generally fold to a big raise they put in. A reasonable assumption in a 1-2 game in Vegas (again, as you mention in the podcast). What they are NOT prepared for is someone like me who takes a button straddle as a green light for unbridled thievery!

    I see straddles as a raise with a weak range (just like blind stealing). And, what do we do when faced with a raise from a weak range? Generally, we increase our 3-betting percentage. In the case of the button straddle, this has the added bonus of robbing him of his right to last action preflop.

    Over and over in Vegas 1-2 games button straddle comes in for $6, two limpers to me in cutoff and boom, I raise to $30. Everyone folds, sometimes the straddler calls and then folds on the flop to a c-bet. As you mention, no one is aware that the game is more of a 2-5 game now and a $30 raise preflop is pretty standard. This raise looks huge to the limpers and they run for cover. The straddler is flummoxed, he can’t believe someone is playing back at him and doesn’t know what to do.

    One word of warning, guys in Vegas generally come to drink, splash money around and feed their egos. They are NOT in the mood to have someone try and steal their “good time” from them. Getting played back at, they are at first flummoxed, then get pissed off. Rather than adjust, they will generally try and bully me into stopping my strategy. Be warned that you will draw some of their wrath if you try this!
  • mbehr1983mbehr1983 Red Chipper Posts: 635 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016
    Great Podcast! I am going to use the code as well and see if I can learn more... maybe i should try and master a few of the free things first. I play in a 1/2/5 rock game this is essentially the same right? The person who has the rock acts last but action starts from UTG unless they have the rock. I have read a few other things about straddle and rock and realize it is cutting effective stacks in half but I think most in my game are oblivious to it. I cringe when someone puts 5 or 10 on top of the rock knowing we are essentially playing 5/10 or 10/20 those that do this will glady chase you down with ATC if you try and take their rock or straddle
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭✭
    mbehr1983 wrote: »
    Great Podcast! I am going to use the code as well and see if I can learn more... maybe i should try and master a few of the free things first. I play in a 1/2/5 rock game this is essentially the same right? The person who has the rock acts last but action starts from UTG unless they have the rock. I have read a few other things about straddle and rock and realize it is cutting effective stacks in half but I think most in my game are oblivious to it. I cringe when someone puts 5 or 10 on top of the rock knowing we are essentially playing 5/10 or 10/20 those that do this will glady chase you down with ATC if you try and take their rock or straddle

    That sounds like a pretty good game. :)
  • mbehr1983mbehr1983 Red Chipper Posts: 635 ✭✭✭
    It is for the most part lots of loose action. I finally started having some run good mixed with my play good so things are looking up
  • delakevdelakev Red Chipper Posts: 36 ✭✭
    @SplitSuit, I was playing in a $5-10 game into the wee hours of the morning and shit got real. I agree with you completely that if the social norm of the table is to straddle to keep everyone happy, go for it. That line got crossed big time and I am just curious as to how you would handle it:

    At about 4am on a Saturday night 4 or 5 of the regulars started to feel the effects of their many cocktails and they start getting vocal for a mandatory straddle. I have no problem with this and I have a similar outlook to you regarding the idea.

    A few hands later they start pushing for a mandatory $40 blind bet (casino only allows one straddle) and the regs comply. An orbit or two later they start pushing for an $80 blind bet on top of the $40 and the $20-straddle.

    I am regular enough to know who the regulars are, but they don't know much about me. They were plenty of action and about $3k+ deep each. I had $1800 and was fairly card dead and just looking for a spot.

    What would you do to not upset this now easily excitable table, without giving in to an unreasonable demand?

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